Stomach bacteria protect against asthma

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The stomach bacteria Helicobacter pylori significantly reduce the risk of developing the allergy-related asthma variant

The gastric germ Helicobacter pylori can apparently reduce the risk of allergic bronchial asthma. This has been demonstrated by studies by a scientific team from the University of Mainz and the University of Zurich. Animals that identified the germ showed to be more resistant to allergenic substances.

The gastric bacterium Helicobacter pylori is held responsible for a number of serious gastric diseases. Patients who are infected with the bacteria almost never notice the infection. In many cases, however, the infestation leads to increased gastric acid secretion. Many notice the first symptoms in the form of heartburn, stomach pressure and upper abdominal pain. As a result, patients can develop gastritis, gastric ulcers or duodenal ulcers, for example. In an animal experiment, scientists from the University of Zurich, in collaboration with doctors from the University Medical Center Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, found that an infection with H. pylori can also have a protective effect against the development of allergy-related asthma.

"The gastric bacterium Helicobacter pylori protects against allergy-related asthma. This is the result that immunologists from the University of Zurich, together with allergy experts from university medicine at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, use to demonstrate the animal model."

In the experiment, mice were infected with the bacteria early after birth. In the experimental setup, the researchers were able to observe that the infected animals did not react, or reacted much weaker, to massive asthma substances than non-infected rodents. The recent study by the two universities was able to confirm the previous observational study, according to which mostly adolescents and young adults are arithmetically at lower risk of asthma if they themselves are Helicobacter pylori carriers. The study was also able to provide important information about the underlying mechanism. According to researchers, gastric bacteria affect elementary cells of the immune system. "The early infection prevents the maturation process of the dendritic cells in the lungs and leads to an accumulation of regulatory T cells, which are crucial for the suppression of asthma," said Prof. Anne Müller, scientist for molecular cancer research at the University of Zurich triggered protection mechanism. Dendritic cells play a crucial role in the activation of immune cells, while regulatory T cells prevent excessive immune reactions, such as are the case with allergies.

For the study, the experimental animals were infected with the bacteria by eating. If the animals were still very young and just a few days old at the time of the infection, the animals reacted to very strong allergenic triggers hardly or only to a very limited extent. If the animals were already fully grown, the bacterial infection could only trigger a relatively low level of allergy protection. However, the activated protection could only be maintained as long as the animals carried the germs. The protective mechanism was lost again after antibiotic therapy. According to the researchers, there is a special context here. More and more people worldwide suffer from the allergenic form of asthma, especially in the western industrialized countries. The rapidly increasing use of antibiotics could have promoted the allergic asthma variant, according to the scientists.

Basis for asthma research The research results could form the basis for further studies to make asthma mechanisms more explainable so that “preventive and therapeutic strategies can later be developed,” said lung and allergy researcher Prof. Christian Taube from the University of Mainz in Science magazine "Journal of Clinical Investigation".

About half of all people worldwide are likely to have the Helicobacter pylori stomach germ in them. Most people do not notice the infection because it is mostly asymptomatic. In some cases, this causes inflammation of the stomach, gastric ulcer or gastritis. In rare cases, gastric cancer (gastric cancer) can develop. For this reason, conventional medicine has started to treat the bacteria with antibiotic medicines. The World Health Organization (WHO) classified H. pylori in Group I of defined carcinogens in 1994. Accordingly, Helicobacter pylori were fought even if the infection was asymptomatic and there was no serious illness. The massive increase in new asthma is probably directly related to the targeted eradication of the gastric bacterium Helicobacter pylori. It became clear that the increased and overwhelming use of antibiotics can have negative health consequences. (sb)

Also read:
Country life protects children from asthma
On the trail of asthma risk genes
New hope for asthma therapy?
Heartburn can cause asthma
Treatment options for bronchial asthma

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Video: Gut Microbiome and Its Role in Allergy and Asthma


  1. Carrick

    Simply the Shine

  2. Akira

    funny on sunday

  3. Berg

    I congratulate what an excellent answer.

  4. Zugal

    Great job!

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